tv [untitled] February 23, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm PST
mever year. sometimes one a week after the first one was dropped off. since have i two phones at my home and i have three lines that come into my business, i have approximately eight or nine books that get thrown into the recycler. it's just a complete waste. this is a subject i have been really concerned about for a long time and never had the opportunity to talk about until i was called and told this item was coming up and i was grateful to say i don't support it as a business owner. i don't support the delivery of these books as a business owner. i do support this amendment or this bill. so thank you very much. >> thank you. next speaker. >> hello, commissioners, thank you very much. i'm janet pomeroy. i'm the president of the board of green chamber of commerce. we're based here in san francisco.
and as the president of this association with over 400 businesses, i'll offer three reasons why the business community supports this initiative. first of all, this ordinance brings to light a real disparity between what you pay for and what you get with the yellow pages. an ad in the phone book would be distributed to about a million recipients and if every single business and person actually collected the book, it's estimated only 38% or about 370,000 people and businesses actually use the yellow pages. so with the current model i'm paying for exposure to almost 1 million recipients but only getting exposure to 370,000. so if by distributing the books in quantities that were more accurately representing the real population of phone book usersers, this would enforce more honesty in the real estate being paid for. secondly, the cost benefits of this ordinance would be done without negative impact on
business's ability to advertise. the yellow page is one of the least targeted forms of advertising. automatically reducing returns because money is spent advertising to market segments who will never be customers. there's other free advertising channels available for us. the internet, linked-in, facebook, twitter offer much more cost effective alternatives. thirdly and what i really like about this ordinance from a pure business perspective is it actually is going to improve the yellow pages phone book marketing channel. by requiring the delivery of the phone book to the consumers who actually want it that will allow the yellow pages to understand the demographics of those consumers. so in turn this will allow businesses to use that information to create more relevant, targeted marketing to more likely customers, resulting in improved return on investment in the phone book channel. so it's not only a win for the environment with reduction of resources, win for commercial and residential race and
reduction in costs, it's also a win for consumers who will receive more relevant advertising and it's a win for business that will receive more accurate and demographic data on this channel. and due to the opportunity for more target marketing, we see improvements in the return on investment for their participation. so it's good for the environment, it's good for business, the city and the green chamber of commerce fully supports this ordinance. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. just for the record, this is my first night as president of the commission. i'm a little bit soft on the time value because i'm nervous and all of that good stuff. so if you could cooperate with me and my dealing with my nerves and help keep it down to two minutes, i don't want to cut somebody off and look like a really nasty guy over there. >> following we have nicholas milos, justin morgan, luther love.
>> i'm aaron burke, san francisco business owner. i've owned a restaurant and also smault consulting practice in san francisco for many years. and i've tried a whole bunch of different ads. yesio pages, online, different trade association magazines and definitely there's more bang for the buck in a lot of those for me. it changed a bit over time. but to make a point when somebody was talking about the -- it seems like it would level the playing field to look at the yellow pages true distributing when all of the local trade associations, merchant associations, the small community-focused newspapers give more real distributing figures because they're actually handing it to people and getting it to people. so it's an unfair practice as they rezribblet it to all of these people so that makes sense. and all of the people that use it will still continue to get it. i talked to a lot of other business owners. i talked to steve barton. he mentioned that earlier. i talked to elaine jennings from
small small potatoes. just a lot of the other business owners in my community and everybody seemed to feel the same way. a lot of us, like me renterred commercial space that's mixed use and upstairs residence whfment they come to me, i can recycle them the same day. but the residents for upstairs that sits for weeks and customers stepping over them and for my restaurant it created an issue because it clogged the opening. so it's pretty -- it's pretty bad. and it's kind of like if i started a business selling t-shirts with ads on them of sports wear makers and just threw them all over san francisco. it seems like that would be littering but it's kind of the same thing the phone book does. it's just accepted for some reason and i think it shouldn't be. so i support the legislation. thanks. >> thank you. next speaker.
>> good evening, commissioners. commissioner o'brien, i will try not to make you nasty guy here. i'm peter dylan representing the yellow pages association tonight, speaking on behalf of the president of the yellow pages association. we've always believed if you don't want a phone book, we don't want to give you one. but the opt-out legislation being introduced by the city is dangerous and potentially unconstitutional road for san francisco to take. thousands of san francisco small businesses rely on the yellow pages advertising to track business, generate sales and produce tax revenue. they continue to invest in the print and advertising load. the city government should not decide what kind of advertising works for small businesses or limit their ability to reach customers. san francisco is 115,000 small businesses generating about $4.5 billion in revenue annually. it's a gamble for the city to take. we do not understand why san francisco would put local jobs and the city's economy at risk when employment is at all-time
low and art employment all-time high. small business jobs make up half the jobs in america and it would be otherwise worse for the city's touch economic outlook. and they employ thousands of californians and hundreds right here in san francisco. san francisco enjoys a diverse community and directory publishers reflect that diversity. local spanish language, chinese language, lgbt directories are at risk being put out of business and advertisers left without marketing tools that work. this is rg these targeted publications have very few ways to reach spanish speaking, chinese speaking communities. many customers rely on special directories to make those connections. publishers have a right to certain protections under the u.s. constitution. prohibiting yellow pages distributing without prior permission violates the first amendment, which says governments cannot license or exercise advanced approval of the press or direct publishers want to publish and to whom they
may communicate. we realize there's a lot, particularly on the economic side, look at what impact this will have on small businesses, jobs, tax base, the first amendment. we appreciate your consideration and as you to take some time in can cring this. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> good evening, commissioners. my name is justin morgan. i manage an apartment building for about two years in san francisco. and i became accustom to the mysterious pile that has been talked about, large stack of yellow pages that would show up in my lobby and generally speaking, i had no success getting people to take them. maybe two or three out of 30 or 35. and i tried some interesting tactics. i would put them in front of people's doors so they would have to sort of use them, format to pick them up.
generally very little success or interest. and they would end up in the recycling bin and two, three months later another distributer would come and another pile would be there in the lobby and the cycle would repeat. it struck me just generally as counterintuitive to not give people the control over whether or not they wanted one and wasteful. so any legislation that changes that, i'm fully in support of. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> my, my name is nicholas. i'm a small business marketing consultant. i've been doing this for about ten years. the arrival of digital media has real thrain away any necessity for the yellow pages these days. the pricing tends to be significantly more expensive than pricing for an online campaign that could better target particular customers that businesses are looking for. so i think in the long run,
making the yellow pages more targeted will save small businesses money and allow them to reinvest that back into their business and possibly create more jobs by better utilizing their marketing dollars and generating more customers for their business. i've worked with a lot of businesses that have been saddled with large contracts with the yellow pages in the past. that was money not well spent that could have been used for other things within their business and even other marketing efforts. i think that their practices can even be described as predatory. i think moving forward there will be less and less need for this as people move more towards the digital land came and are using yelp and google and all of these different things to contact the businesses they're looking for. don't think the yellow pages is
something people will need in the future. thanks. >> thank you. >> after this group, dominic biansetti, dave grenle. >> good evening, commissioner. thanks for your time on this valentine's day. it's great to be back. i'm the manager of a local business outreach at yelp. and today's point to go over some trends that we're seeing in the local search industry about the shifting behavior among san francisco consumers, specifically. so just quick quote, and this is from b.i. arkse kelsey, which is basically the think tank that represents the local source industry and yellow pages. we're members but more traditionally and more
represents traditionally yellow book industry. even with improvements we do not anticipate a rapid recovery among traditional media over the forecast period because we believe the structural change in the local media industry has accelerated. that's the president of the b.i.a., and, again, this is a think tank for the yellow pages industry. i think in response to -- it will be five years until yellow pages print totally disappear. c.e.o. of yellow book joe walsh said on fox business last year, some of the coastal markets might be migrating away from print in five years. what i want to do is quick deep dive in our company. we're proudly founded in san francisco and really been around the last six years. yelp in 2005 went on google trends radar here. i will e-mail this to you all as well. basically we have 500 people looking at us in june of 2005. the next year 9,000 folks in the city of san francisco landing on
yelp's business page daily and yelp.com daily. and we saw an appearance in google trends. i'm also juxtaposing the red line basically is search for yelp on google and the word on yellow pages so i'm contrasting this for the use of yellow pages and increase in search of the word yelp. 2006, 19,000 daily san francisco users. 2007, 27,000 san francisco users. 2009 you see a crossover. the number of people searching for yellow pages and google fell below the number of people at google and we're at 78,000 daily users in the city of san francisco. >> i will give you 30 more seconds. >> thank you, i'm on my last slide. i appreciate it. the gist is we're undergoing a shifting landscape as the previous speaker said. the industry acknowledged it
themselves and yelp son-in-law one of many portals online where people can search. mogul is yet another area where people are searching. i guess what i'm trying to say we're seeing a major seismic shift and i hope that data illustrates that. happy to e-mail you the data after this. thanks. >> thank you. next public speaker, please. >> i appreciate the interest about recycling and the directories. the frequently asked questions that was disseminated says that white pages are not affected by the san francisco ordinance. directories have white pages and yellow pages. i'm not sure i understand what they're talking about.
so when the media, meaning other media pick up the city is trying to ban the phone book, that sounds about right because they're talking about the yellow pages. that's where the advertising is. yes, we sell to the business people and i have numerous letters from business people that say i need the yellow pages, the print yellow pages to survive. so now we're going to in the city say if you want a yellow pages, you call us, we'll call you. however we're going to get in contact. that's just not feasible. second of all, we can only deliver it to you personally so i'm going to knock on your door at 8:00 at night and say, are you the person? that's not feasible. but the question comes back to if we don't deliver our yellow pages in this ordinance, meaning only to the people that want it, what's going to happen with the white pages? are those going to be continued
delivered to everyone? according to this, it sounds like it. so this recycle part of it, i'm not quite understanding this. i have been in the business 25 years. businesses rely on the print yellow pages. we supply that. i think there's a little bit manipulation f. that's the right word, of what is the distributing and what is the cost of the ad? i think it should be less to the advertisers and business people for them-to-to come in here and talk to you about it. i thank you for your time. if you have any questions, i would be more than happy to answer them. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good evening, commissioners. my name is katie rowhance. i'm with the at&t external affairs here in san francisco. i'm here this evening because i received an e-mail from the gentleman's catalog yesterday informing me there was actually
-- this item was being heard before the small business commission today. that was at 10:00 last night. so i received a whole bunch of information from some very helpful people internally but the couple of things that i want to point out is this is a complicated issue. it's not solely about the environment. it's not solely about small business. it's not solely about our distributing methods. there's all sorts of things that are going into this. and when you have a piece of legislation that is being moved very quickly through this city process, a lot of people are getting left out. and i understand, i see a group of people here who are very mobile. and i remind you that only 55% of our latinos have home internet connection. i also remind you that only 58%
of our african-americans, according to the national average, have internet connections. so when we say that we're moving from print media to this sort of mobile media, that may be true, and we're watching it trend as everybody else is here but we're not there yet. and i pulled some numbers from the census. and we know that based on the u.s. census, 30,482 businesses are located here in san francisco. 86% of those, that's around 26,000, have fewer than 20 workers. so these businesses account for approximately 20% of all employment. in san francisco. we know that we have 7,125 businesses that advertise. >> ok. i will give you another 20 seconds. >> thanks. so we also know that of those
7,1500 are moving to mobile media in addition to their print. that still leaves a very large majority of people who aren't mobile. so please take some time, continue to give us some chance to bring in some folks to really give you a big picture of what this is about. thank you. >> thank you. next public speaker, please. >> next group, pete sellers, dan windton, josh mcdunny. >> greetings. thank you for hearing this item. i would like to speak directly to the yellow page industry and tell you as someone who oversees marketing dollars for small businesses, this is not about the internet. i helped do some of the research behind this ordinance. took about five months. the most impressive thing to me was talking to the minority-owned publishers, spanish speaking and other, what they told me was that, for
example, one spanish speaking yellow pages publisher told me that they had a distributing of 100,000 yellow pages in san francisco. now they don't drop these in front of homes or businesses every year like the mass produced yellow pages. what they do have s have special partnerships with businesses like supervisor chiu noted and people can pick them up any time as people want them. i asked him z. this work? he said it's great for business, it's great for the environment and it reduces waste. after that there was nothing else i really needed to know. that's not a high-tech solution. so this is about business responsibility. 1.5 yellow pages phone books drapped in san francisco every year, year after year, 7 million pound of paper waste, is not responsible. as someone who's grown up here and does small business, i have seen every year these books pile
up in doorways all throughout my neighborhood. when i call yellow pages and ask for an ad, they tell me the price and they tell me it's based on the circulation number. 1.5 million. but i know because i started taking pictures of these books in doorways that after two weeks, a lot of these books are still there. i wouldn't say a lot n my neighborhood most. they either end up in the trash, in the recycling or in some cases i think people use them and this ordinance is not overly prescriptive. it's about getting them into the hands of the people who want them. we can do that. thank you. >> next public speaker, please. >> good evening,. >> next public speaker please. >> high and the building manager -- i am the building manager at seventh and market street. i can tell you we get about 50
yellow page netbooks each year and other distributions as well. we get so many we end up throwing away half of them, because we have so many tenants who do not hit some of or meet once or twice a month, -- who do not think the mother once or twice a month. i tried to -- take them up once or twice a month. i tried to pass them on, but it is a shame. there are so many books that end up on a porch, and other tenants take them. i support this ordinance, and only to stop this in ways. -- stop the waste.
>> i am on the founding team of a small-business that employees of a dozen full-time or part- time residence, and we fully support this legislation. it was interesting to hear lobbyist stock about the armageddon that would hit seven francisco and -- talk about the armageddon that would hit san francisco with this happened. i have not talked to one small business but relies upon the yellow pages for survival. i cannot believe they have a first amendment right to litter and create visual delight all over the city when we see stacks of these yellow pages under mostly being on news. a case spam. -- it is spam.
it is spam we see in front of our homes and businesses. when we advertise, we consider a number of ways to hit our target market. when we spend money on line, we have to evaluate paying cost her click and caught her impression. cost for clicks are more expensive. they are charging these small businesses cost for clique no rates by saying they are reaching an audience and -- costs for click rates by saying they are reaching an audience that is bigger. why do i want to see the leftovers -- they have a first amendment right to choose if
they want to eat that buffet, but i do not want to see the leftovers, and that is what mrs. -- this is about. >> i just opened a small business about seven weeks ago, and we have a limited marketing budget and laughed when we found out how much they are charging, but it was not the funny pair reuter it was frustrating. -- it was not that funny. it was frustrated. i want to lend my support to this legislation. >> any other members of the public who wish to speak headline up. >> i support this ordinance.
i am here on behalf of the green business manager. they help small and medium-sized businesses go green and improved efficiency. i would like to deliver a practical letter to the yellow pages, but before i do, let me say we are in full support of reducing unnecessary waste in san francisco while helping businesses reach their target audiences more efficiently. phone books provide an important service, but the internet will forever change the way consumers interact with businesses. i believe your industry has experienced temporary myopia caused by interferences in the technology rounds.
sources disappeared when cars were introduced and they were no longer an -- horse carriages disappeared when cars were introduced and they were no longer relevant. the same is happening with yellow pages in the digital age. this ordinance is a wake-up call to industry. the status quo cannot continue. embracing this ordinance will propel the transformation necessary for the transformation -- for the industry. change is never easy. you have the added benefit and an existing network of clients. think of this as a gift from your supervisors. when you go back to work tomorrow, and gave him to transform your business. -- engage to transform your
business. thank you for your time. >> next speaker. my name -- >> my name is katina, across the irish american, -- is tina, a proud irish american. and we have been inundated with photh cutbacks, it hassa -- it goes from our frt porches to recycling, and being a san franciscan, and we know how limited our cause of spaces, and phone books are pretty vague and -- are closet space is, and phone books are
pretty big. i would rather have something useful and attractive. >> good evening, commissioners. i am a director and cfo in sentences don't -- in san francisco. we did run for several years large ad campaigns in the yellow pages. we chose to stop doing that this year. we have lots of feedback from customers that it is wasteful. i will say it was effective in attracting people, but we've made what we think's was the made what we think's was the best decision